Yarmouth sophomore Aine Powers plays the ball while York senior Charlotte Williamson defends during the Clippers’ 3-0 victory Saturday. Hoffer photo.

YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s girls’ soccer team needed a boost late in the first half during Saturday’s home contest against York, as it appeared destined to go into the break in a frustrating scoreless tie.

But with only 23 seconds remaining, the Clippers got an enormous jolt, as junior Ava Feeley and senior Vada Harpool teamed up for a game-turning goal.

Feeley then showed off her long-range shooting ability in the second half, scoring twice, and Yarmouth went on to a 3-0 victory.

The Clippers improved to 2-1 on the young season and in the process, handed the Wildcats their first loss in three outings.

“There were a lot of solid efforts today and we needed that,” said Yarmouth coach Andy Higgins. “We needed to hold them to a ‘0’ on the board. It’s a lot of fun to come out every day and compete. It’s a great group of kids.”

Steady improvement

Yarmouth lost in the regional final to eventual repeat Class B champion Cape Elizabeth in 2019, then a year ago, posted a 6-3 mark but wasn’t able to compete in a postseason due to COVID restrictions.

The fall, the Clippers are touted as the team best equipped to derail the Capers, but they started with a 2-0 loss at Cape Elizabeth before bouncing back to down host Freeport, 5-2, Tuesday.

York is traditionally a top contender as well in Class B South and opened with victories over Freeport (2-1) and Fryeburg Academy (9-1).

The teams didn’t play in 2020. Two years ago, Yarmouth won both meetings, 4-1 at home and 4-0 in York.

Saturday, on a beautiful late-summer afternoon (75 degrees at kickoff), the Clippers prevailed again, but it took them awhile to get their offense in gear.

Yarmouth had three corner kicks in the first half, but had nothing to show for them.

A pair of shots from sophomore Aine Powers were saved by Wildcats senior goalkeeper Allie MacDonald, junior Macy Gilroy missed just high and a bid from junior Kate Sahagian was barely tipped away by MacDonald.

But just when it appeared the game would remain 0-0 at the break, the Clippers transitioned and with 23 seconds to go, Feeley sent the ball in where Harpool and a defender converged before the ball deflected into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

“Ava had a really nice cross and I ran in to see if I could get a hit on it,” Harpool said. “The other team ended up kicking it in. It was big to score that goal. It really turned the game around.”

“That goal really woke us up,” said Feeley.

“We were kind of knocking it around in the first half,” Higgins added. “It felt like (a goal) was coming, but time was running out. That was huge. If it got to the half 0-0, we would have had a different conversation. I’m not sure exactly what happened. Ava had a good service in, Vada came flying through and it bounced off a bunch of people. We’ll give it to her. She made quite an impact. She’s practiced really well and came on strong at the end of last year. She’s getting minutes and finding herself in the right spots.”

Just four minutes into the second half, Feeley threatened to double the lead, but her 30-yard rocket hit the crossbar and MacDonald fell on the rebound.

After a pair of York corner kicks were denied (one was cleared and Yarmouth sophomore goalkeeper Regan Sullivan saved the other), the Clippers returned to offense and with 26:50 remaining, Feeley got another look, this one up top from about 25 yards away, and this time her shot found its mark for a 2-0 lead.

“I usually just shoot for the goal and try to get it over the keeper,” Feeley said.

“Ava’s just incredible,” Harpool said. “I watch her and I’m like, ‘Whoa!'”

“Ava can change the game with one touch and one strike,” Higgins added. “In the first half, I thought she let the game come to her a little bit, but she imposed her will in the second half. When her energy goes up, as one of our leaders, everyone’s energy goes up. (Senior midfielder) Katelyn (D’Appolonia) is the same way. She controlled the game. She brings a crazy level of calm for us. She wins the ball and is in the right spots.”

After Sullivan saved a long blast from York senior Delaney Foley, Feeley put it away with 15:18 on the clock, finishing a feed from freshman Taylor Oranellas.

“On both of those goals, I got really nice balls in and I just take my chances,” Feeley said. “Our team connects really well.”

The Wildcats got one final look to answer, but Sullivan saved a shot from junior Madison Raymond, bringing the curtain down on the 3-0 victory.

“We’re so happy to have a normal season,” Feeley said. “We’re a pretty young team, but that’s made us closer. We’ve been able to connect well.”

Yarmouth finished with a 9-3 edge in shots on frame, got three saves from Sullivan and had a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.

MacDonald saved six shots for York.

Growth

York is back in action Tuesday of next week, at home versus Cape Elizabeth.

Yarmouth, meanwhile, has a key test at Greely Tuesday, then visits Poland Thursday.

“I’m excited to try to go all the way this year,” Harpool said. “We just need to stay focused in practice and know what we need to work on for future games.”

“We still have a ways to go,” said Higgins. “We’re still figuring some things out and our rotations. We have a big one Tuesday against Greely. The girls are dialed in and focused.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted the first game against Cape, but we’re hungry. First off, beating them is about the mental piece. They’re as good as there is. You have to play almost flawlessly against them. You have to believe you can step on the field and hang with them.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Comments are not available on this story.